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Keywords:

  • airway;
  • endoscopy;
  • paediatric;
  • tracheal intubation

Summary

Objectives:  We compared adverse airway events during esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) in children managed with insufflation vs intubation.

Background:  Optimum airway management during EGD in children remains undecided.

Methods/materials:  Following IRB approval and written informed parental consent, children between 1 and 12 years of age presenting for EGD were randomized to airway management with insufflation (Group I), intubation/awake extubation (Group A), or intubation/deep extubation (Group D). All subjects received a standardized anesthetic with sevoflurane in oxygen. Using uniform definitions, airway adverse events during and after EGD recovery were recorded. Categorical data were analysed with Chi-square contingency tables or Fisher’s exact test as appropriate.

Results:  Analyzable data were available for 415 subjects (Group I: 209; Group A: 101; Group D: 105). Desaturation, laryngospasm, any airway adverse event, and multiple airway adverse events during EGD were significantly more common in subjects in Group I compared to those in Groups A and D. Complaints of sore throat, hoarseness, stridor, and/or dysphagia were more common in subjects in Groups A and D. Analysis of confounders suggested that younger age, obesity, and midazolam premedication were independent predictors of airway adverse events during EGD.

Conclusions:  Insufflation during EGD was associated with a higher incidence of airway adverse events, including desaturation and laryngospasm; intubation during EGD was associated with more frequent complaints related to sore throat. As our results show that insufflation during EGD offers no advantage in terms of operational efficiency and is associated with more airway adverse events, we recommend endotracheal intubation during EGD, especially in patients who are younger, obese, or have received midazolam premedication.